Nicky Leach, Writer/Editor
Perfecting the Art of the Possible
As president and publisher of Sierra Press, it has been my pleasure to have known and worked with Nicky Leach for more than 20 years. Over the course of these two decades I have employed Nicky as both writer and/or editor on dozens of publications. As talented as she is at these skills, it is the passion, humor, and humanity Nicky brings to every project that truly sets her apart, and keeps publishers such as myself coming back for more. Simply stated, Nicky cares. She gives herself completely to every project, whether small and mundane or big and challenging. As a writer, her research and grasp of any subject is truly amazing. I have never worked with an author who “gets it” the way Nicky does. She listens, she studies, and she improves every publication as a result of her involvement. As an editor her uncanny skill at improving other writers efforts is genuinely amazing. I have a number of authors who specifically request that Nicky edit their work, knowing it is they, and their writing, that will benefit! I am already looking forward to developing another project that will provide the opportunity to work with Nicky again, soon!
I've known Nicky for nine years and have worked with her professionally on several writing and editing projects. In fact, we co-authored a book together (Insider's Guide: Santa Fe, 3rd edition; Globe Pequot Publishing, 2003). I've also read many of Nicky's books and articles, both in published and in manuscript form. She is truly a pleasure to work with and a marvelous writer. Particularly impressive are her research skills, attention to detail, and ability to garner colorful anecdotes and pithy quotations. Her prose always reflects her passion for and understanding of her subjects, often the result of her immersion in deep study of an assigned topic for months at a time. Anyone who hires Nicky gets much more than his or her money's worth. She is a multitalented hard worker whose secrets weapons include a wry sense of humor, a love of language, and an enormous heart.
I love working with Nicky on our travel guidebooks—you tell her what you want and you get that and more. Detailed research and excellent writing skills are her hallmarks.
When an important assignment lands on my desk, two words come to mind: "Call Nicky." She's a gifted writer with the smarts and resourcefulness to handle just about any topic, and she knows the meaning of a deadline. I've been working with her for nearly 20 years, and she's still at the top of my list of favorite writers.
I'm delighted to recommend Nicky Leach as the finest editor it has been my privilege to work with. She was hired by my publisher, Findhorn Press, to edit Princes, Frogs, and Ugly Sisters: The Healing Power of the Grimm Brothers Tales (2010), and she proved herself again and again to be an expert in her craft. Not only was she detailed and precise in the overall editing, but through her insight, careful understanding, and sensitivity she was able to identify sections where the original material did not flow properly. Her genius lies in being able to straighten out writing that has become entangled, and to make alterations that result in far better prose. Some editors will simply correct typos; Nicky will straighten out knotted sections so that the writing becomes clearer, better, more persuasive. In addition it's also worth stating that she is very quick. There is no waiting around for returned copy, and no long email-silence to drive a writer mad. If you need a thoroughly professional, prompt, precise editor who has world-class abilities, then Nicky Leach is the person to contact. I'm looking forward to working with her on many more projects.
I highly recommend Nicky Leach as editor for any writing project you might have. She recently edited my book, The Confident Creative: Inspiration from The Saturday Morning Drawing Club, (Findhorn Press, 2010),with patient attention to detail and keen insight. My publisher hired Nicky and it could not have been a better match. Art and creativity are not Nicky's advertised specialties yet she brought a depth of insight to the project that was perfectly in sync with my own intentions. It was a pleasure to discover her way with words and her expertise with commas and other grammatical devices, which slowed the pace of the text in such thoughtful ways. I'm especially grateful for the professional way in which Nicky turned the project around and handed it back to me in a timely fashion before her deadline. I expected an editor to clean up my punctuation and adjust phrasing for the sake of clarity. Nicky did that but added value through astute asides on the subject itself that prove she is both deeply well read and thoughtful on a wide range of subjects. When I next need an editor, it will be Nicky Leach whom I call, for sure!
As a French-speaking author, writing a book directly in English for the first time, I was blessed to have Nicky Leach as editor of my book The Gift of Forgiveness: A Magical Encounter with Don Miguel Ruiz (Findhorn Press, 2010). Nicky did a great job of improving my English and rephrasing sentences. More than that, I was lucky to benefit from her years of writing experience and expertise which, as a regular editor myself for French authors, I appreciate for their genuine and rare value. Many books are published in English – I see that on a daily basis, being also an English-French translator – without ever benefiting from such a fine work. Writing well is a skill. Not all authors who have important things to say possess this skill, and even those who do would really appreciate the fine tuning a professional editor like Nicky can bring to their book.
Nicky Leach was a blessing for my book Healing With Source (Findhorn Press, 2010)! As a former editor, I though I'd written a good piece of grammatically correct work. Even so, Nicky found redundancies, misspellings, discrepancies, and more. And even better, she offered the highest-quality suggestions I'd ever received on this or any work. Her speed and attention to detail were all top notch - a rare combination as usually it's one or the other. Nicky's understanding of the material, her super-friendly demeanor and professionalism, and her meticulous eye will certainly mean that I will request that her light shine upon any future writings of mine.
I have known Nicky for seventeen years and value her as an editor who is precise in her work and will always do her best to hit a given deadline. She is very conscientious and professional in her approach to her writing. She has an in depth knowledge of the national parks of the west which has proven particularly useful to us.
- Winner, Best General Guidebook, National Park Service Cooperating Association Interpretive Excellence Competition for The Guide to National Parks of the Southwest (SPMA, Tucson, Arizona) - 1993-1994
- Runner Up, Best General Guidebook, National Park Service Cooperating Association Interpretive Excellence Competition for Cedar Breaks National Monument visitor guide (Zion Natural History Association) - 1995-1996
- Runner Up, International Regional Magazine Association awards, for travel article on Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico Magazine
- Runner Up, International Regional Magazine Awards for Traveling in Navajoland for New Mexico Magazine